Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 15, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
01/15/14 01/15/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> on the road broadcasting from tokyo, japan, this is democracy now! i have absolutely no intention of hurting the feelings of the people of china or korea from the very beginning. this is the same thinking of all the prime minister's before me who have visited the shrine. nuclear nation: nearly three
8:01 am
years after the meltdown at fukushima, contaminated water is still licking from the plant. is the crisis till out of control? we will speak with david mcneill , author of, "strong in the rain: surving japan's earthquake, tsunami, and fukushima nuclear disaster." and we will also speak with astsushi funahashi, director of, "nuclear nation: the fukushima refugees story." but first, as tensions rise between japan and china, we look at the japanese government increasingly pro-nuclear nationalistic stance, even as its citizens become bracingly anti-nuclear. we will speak with professor naoto kan of sophia university. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
8:02 am
from tokyo,casting japan. members of the white house panel reviewing government surveillance have publicly rejected some of the nsa's key claims in justifying warrantless, mass buying. appearing before a senate hearing, former cia deputy director michael morell and former cia deputy -- house counterterrorism aide richard clarke refuted assertions the bulk election of phone data could have prevented 9/11. programs true the 215 has not played a significant role in disrupting the terraced attacks to this point. statementdifferent than saying the program is not important. thef the information federal agencies had at the time had been shared among the agencies, then one of them, the fbi, could have gone to the fisa court and could have, in a very timely manner, gotten a warrant to monitor the appropriate
8:03 am
telephone use. they didn't because they were unaware of the information that existed elsewhere in the government at the time. of overe was a period two years were that information was available. >> in the latest of the revelations surrounding u.s. surveillance, "new york times" reports the nsa has planted spying software and close to 100,000 computers around the world. the software allows for monitoring those machines and the creation of a new digital pathway to launch cyberattacks on others. it works even if computers are not connected to the internet by using a covert channel of radio frequencies. since 2008rget include the chinese and russian military, mexican police and drug cartels, european union trade institutions, and u.s. allies including saudi arabia, india, and pakistan. the latest is comes amidst
8:04 am
reports talks between the u.s. and germany on aagreement are near collapse. tensions peaked between the two countries last year after documents leaked by edward snowden showed u.s. surveillance and german citizens and officials, including chancellor angela merkel. a german newspaper reports the negotiations are but -- are at a dead end over u.s. refusal to guarantee an end to spying on german politicians. germany denies the claim and says the talks are ongoing. a federal appeals court has struck down federal rules promoting equal access to the internet. the telecom giant verizon had regulations on net neutrality that forced internet providers to provide all content at equal speeds, regardless of the company's own business interests. advocates say the rules defend against corporate abuses and help preserve an open internet. at the court ruled tuesday that because the internet isn't the utility, companies are free to make side deals for faster
8:05 am
their websites and services. in a statement, former fcc commissioner said the decision -- he added -- at least 52 people have been killed today in a series of bombs across iraq. the deadliest attack hit a crowd of mourners at a sunni funeral, leaving 18 dead. at least six car bombs in baghdad claimed at least 34 lives. iraq is facing its worst violence since the height of sectarian warfare that left tens of thousands dead six years ago. at least 11 people were killed in egypt on tuesday as voting
8:06 am
opened on the constitutional referendum. egypt and forces clashed with demonstrators calling for a boycott of the vote and announcing military rule. more violence has been reported today as the referendum continues for a second and final day. the vote could set the stage for a presidential run by egypt's military ruler. israel's defense minister has apologized to the u.s. after harshly dismissing secretary of state john kerry's efforts to negotiate a middle east peace deal. speaking to in israeli newspaper, moshe yaalon said --
8:07 am
in washington, state department spokesperson called moshe yaalon 's statement offensive and inappropriate. motives toon his distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally. again, i think we've been very clear we would find these comments offensive and inappropriate. >> that was the state department spokesperson. john yaalon's dismissal of kerry comes amidst the israeli government's ongoing expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied west bank, despite ostensibly negotiating over the creation of a palestinian state there. two children answers they wanted after a classmate opened fire at a middle school and roswell, new mexico. the shooter, 12 years old, was armed with a shotgun. the victims were an 11-year-old boy in critical condition and a
8:08 am
12-year-old girl injuries condition. the new mexican government -- new mexico governor susana martinez reeked reporters on the attack. >> he walked into school this morning and while students were gathered in the gym because of to weather, they gathered stay out of the cold weather, this individual opened fire on the audience that was in the gym. the shooter was quickly stopped by a staff member who walked right up to him and asked him to sit down the firearm, which he did. by a state assisted police lieutenant who was dropping off his own child. >> the shooting was the third at a u.s. middle school in the past four months after deadly incidents in nevada in october and in colorado last month. it's also at least the 26th
8:09 am
school shooting in just over a year since the newtown massacre of december 2012. a federal judge has struck down oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage. on tuesday, u.s. district judge kern rolled oklahoma's ban violates the constitution's equal protection clause. the decision is on hold pending appeals from state officials. it's the second time in a month that a federal judge has overturned a gay marriage ban in a traditionally republican state, following utah in december. the supreme court later put gay marriage on hold pending utah's appeal. you talk says it won't recognize any of the marriages performed during the three weeks when they were legal, but the justice department says they'll be recognized at the federal level. new jersey governor chris christie delivered a highly anticipated state of the state address on tuesday amidst the unfolding scandal threatening his political career.
8:10 am
last week, governor christie fired a top aide after it emerged she had ordered the closure of lanes leading to the george washington bridge, apparently, to punish the mayor of fort lee for declining to endorse governor christie's bid for reelection. christie opened his speech with an apology to voters. >> as a result from a we let down the people we are interested to serve. i know our citizens deserve better -- much better. now, i'm the governor. i'm ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch -- both good and bad. without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again. but i also want to assure the people of new jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state. >> more developments threaten to expand the controversy. newly released photos show
8:11 am
governor christie was with david official thaither to the scandal, at a memorial on september 11, the third day of laying closings in fort lee. as christie has repeatedly claimed he and wildstein of have little to no contact. state lawmakers are readying new subpoenas to force the testimony of christie's aides. federal investigators are probing whether governor christie improperly used superstorm sandy relief money to fund a multi-million-dollar tourism ad campaign featuring his family. the obama administration is reportedly preparing to undermine strong environmental safeguards in trade talks with the 11 other pacific rim countries. by documents released wikileaks show the white house is ready to backtrack on a series of vertical regulations in order to secure a deal on the transpacific partnership. these include legally binding requirements for pollution limits, logging standards, and a
8:12 am
ban on the harvesting of shark fins. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in tokyo, japan, for the first of three special broadcasts here. we're here at a critical time for japan and the region. later in the show we will look at the crisis in japan following the meltdown at the fukushima nuclear plant that occurred nearly three years ago. our visit to japan comes less than a month after thousands of people rallied on the japanese island of okinawa to protest plans to build a new u.s. marine base. meanwhile, protests continue here in japan over the transpacific partnership. the tpp would establish a free- trade zone stretching from the united states to chile to japan, encompassing nearly 40% of the global economy. we will look at okinawa and the tpp later in the week hama but
8:13 am
we begin today's show looking at the rightward shift in japan under prime minister shinzo abe, who was reelected just over a year ago. abe heads the country's liberal democratic party, and is known as a conservative hawk who has pushed nationalistic and pro- nuclear policies. in december, he visited the controversial yucca sunni -- showing you which honors japanese soldiers who died in battle. the visit sparked outrage from china and south korea, who consider the shrine a symbol of japanese militarism, and his refusal to atone for atrocities committed in china and korea in the first half of the 20th century. for more and join in our tokyo studio by koichi nakano, professor at sophia university here in tokyo, and director of the institute of global concern
8:14 am
at the university. we welcome you, professor, to democracy now! explainglobal audience, japan's politics today. >> well, it is sad to say since shinzo abe came back to power in december 2012, there has been a rightward shift that has resumed economiccs. just an reforms, but in terms of increased attention to foreign and security policy, including the possible revision of the constitution. >> explain this revision of the constitution. >> the japanese constitution was instituted during the occupation states.y the united >> this is after world war ii, after the u.s. dropped the atomic on. >> that's right. pastse of the military's for that caused a great deal of damage to the region and beyond,
8:15 am
there was a great deal of efforts to militarize and democratize japan with the new constitution after the second world war. it is famous for the article 9 that renounces the potential as a country. >> the u.s. said it could not have a military -- >> that's right. >> but in fact they have developed one under a new name. >> it is called a self-defense force. it has the capacity to defend the country. there are still constitutional bans on japan. >> i want to go to the japanese .rime minister shinzo abe let's go to the prime minister after he visited the war shrine.
8:16 am
>> i showed my respects to the war dead who sacrificed their precious lives for japan and also prayed for their souls to rest in peace. i also prayed for the resting of the souls of all of the people whose lives were taken by war. additionally, i doubt for renunciation of war and i was emboldened to create an era where people's lives would not be engulfed in pain, by the misery of war. >> and now let's go to the response of china and south korea, both condemned his visit to the shrine. this is a spokesperson from the chinese foreign minister. face act theuble leader made such remarks. he called black from a white and confused public opinion. they keep talking about democracy, freedom and peace and on the other hand promote militarism and promote the
8:17 am
colonization. this is a blast against democracy, freedom, and peace. >> his visit to the shrine jeopardized the political foundation of the china-japan relationship and created new obstacles for improvement and development of bilateral ties. to pan will face all the consequences. >> professor, can you explain the significance? some have compared to when president ronald reagan visited the cemetery with the german ss officers buried there. >> yasukuni shrine is notorious for enshrining 14 war criminals -- >> class a war criminals? >> yes, basically wartime leaders of japan including the prime minister who attacked pearl harbor when he was paroled -- when he was prime minister. the chinese government made peace with japan with the
8:18 am
understanding that the japanese people were also victims of wartime leaders. for the chinese, the idea the current prime minister visit did those warni shrine or criminals were enshrined is basically to say that japan there's no responsibility for the wartime atrocities. >> so why did he do it? it has become a taboo issue from 1985, in particular, when the chinese government started to criticize openly the visits by the prime minister. before abe in last december, while he was promised or between 2001-2006, the prime minister repeatedly visited the yasukuni shrine. during that time, the bilateral relationship between japan and china were completely frozen. >> i also want to ask about
8:19 am
japan state -- the issue of japan's state secrets, recently enacted state secrets law. in november, the u.s. ambassador to japan, now caroline kennedy, endorsed the law saying "we support the evolution of japan's security policies, as they create a new national security strategy, establish a national security council, and take steps to protect national security secrets." >> right. the pressure coming from the u.s. had been going on for some time. frome very latest, i think 2009. the bill of state secrecy has been in the pipeline for some time. seizing the opportunity by securing the majority of both houses of parliament, went ahead in combination with another bill, as you just mentioned, the japanese version of the national
8:20 am
council. >> what are these state secrets? >> it is poorly defined. it concerns primarily security issues and anti-terrorism it becamebut increasingly clear the imitation of what actually constitutes a state secret is arbitrary and freely defined by government leaders. anti-nuclear citizen movements can come under surveillance without our knowledge, for example, and arrests can be made if it turns out they obtained information they did not even know constitutes state secrets. >> you talk about japanese shock doctrine. >> right. the state secrecy laws that was passed in december last year, just a month ago, basically two years after the big earthquake and tsunami in the nuclear power plant that still continues to
8:21 am
, in they shake japan climate of anxiety and insecurity, the government basically is pushing the classic sort of shock doctrine way. for the japanese, it is particularly worrisome because it reminds us of what happened before the second world war, actually, when tokyo was destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1923. and the peace preservation law eventually led to the birth of state secret police and the brutality of the regime was also enacted two years right after the big earthquake that 1920oyed tokyo back in the 's. the parallel is quite spooky. >> in the parallel now with fukushima know what it would mean in a cover-up of what has been happening?
8:22 am
we're not talking about the past now. that was almost three years ago. >> the continuous contamination andater, of ocean, the soil the continuous danger with the spent fuels and the nuclear reactors and fukushima, i think a lot of and sermons and citizens are trying to know the truth. but i think the state secrecy law is potentially going to make it easier for the government to cover up information. >> we will continue to follow the politics of japan and its relationship to the united states as well as other countries around the world in the coming days. in our next segment, we're going to look at fukushima, what it has meant. we will be joined by david mcneill, who is co-author of, "strong in the rain." been we will talk with a new film called "nuclear nation." professor koichi nakano, thank
8:23 am
you for joining us. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
8:24 am
"the final view."
8:25 am
this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in tokyo, japan. on sunday, we will be headed to astsushi funahashi and kyoto -- we will be headed to hiroshima and kyoto. we are here in japan, the country is about to mark the third anniversary of one of the world's worst atomic disasters. massive 9.0-, a magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that struck japanese northeast coast. it left an estimated 19,000 people dead or missing, and forced 160,000 to flee their homes. many have never been able to return. the disasters trickled -- triggered a meltdown at the tokyo electric company,
8:26 am
fukushima powerplant's owner. the radiation that spewed from the plant stranded more than 350,000 evacuees. in the years following the fukushima disaster, tens of thousands of japanese have taken to the streets to march in opposition to nuclear power. this is a protesters speaking in tokyo last year. >> take nuclear energy off-line. i want the government to change over completely to natural energy sources for the nation. >> and the nearly three years since the disaster, the fukushima cleanup and decommissioning efforts have been complicated by leaks of highly radioactive water. the effort has also suffered from a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, which borders reports has led to japan's homeless population .eing easy prey for critters following the disaster, japan halted yearly all nuclear- related projects. however, prime minister shinzo
8:27 am
partyliberal democratic reversed his campaign pledge to move japan away from nuclear energy just one week after coming into power in december 2012. earlier today, japan's trade ministry said it would approve a revival plan for the utility responsible for the fukushima nuclear disaster. power company, or tepco. this will be the second attempt to restore the utility's depleted finances. for more we're joined by david mcneill, longtime foreign correspondent based here in japan. he writes for the independent of london, for the chronicle of higher education, and other publications. he is also co-author of the book, "strong in the rain: surving japan's earthquake, tsunami, and fukushima nuclear disaster." david mcneill, it is very good to have you here, and to be here in japan. blow-ook is an astounding
8:28 am
by-blow account of what has taken place. you continue to report on what is happening. what should we understand about the effects of fukushima today? >> well, of course, the effects of radiation are hotly disputed. they will go on for many years to come. we are seeing reports of an increase in problems with thyroid among children of fukushima. the science is yet to be decided. the what is really very clear, completely without dispute, is that it has caused an enormous amount of disruption to people's lives. first of all, 160,000 people were forced to flee from fukushima. we don't know how many have fallen -- voluntarily fled. there's a phenomenon called the fukushima divorce, which his family splitting up because the wife wants to leave because she's worried about her children and the husband doesn't. you also have a spate of
8:29 am
suicides, early deaths of all people. massive disruption because they have had to leave communities they have lived all their lives. when people say the death toll is zero, they are not correct. people have died from the disaster. i think people will continue to die in years to come, whether or not the radiation is the cause or not. >> let's talk about nuclear politics. one of the notable opponents of nuclear energy since fukushima is a man who wasn't always opposed to nuclear energy, the former japanese prime minister naoto kan. heads head of japan at the of the time -- at the time of the crisis. he resigned later that year. but not before he ordered the aoka nuclearhe ham power plant and froze plans to build new reactors. he has since called on japan to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy. this is a brief excerpt of his remarks at an event in new york
8:30 am
city this past october. he spoke very translator. -- he spoke through a translator. >> my position before march 11 2011 was that as long as we make -- it is safely operated, nuclear power plant can be operated and should be operated. >> however, after experiencing 11, isaster of march changed my thinking 180 degrees completely.
8:31 am
we do have accidents such as an airplane crash and so on, and sometimes hundreds of people die in an accident, but there is no other accident or disaster that would affect 50 million people -- maybe a war, but there is no other accident that can cause such a tragedy. >> that is japan's former prime minister naoto kan, as he said, making complete change in his position on nuclear power, now saying it should be phased out in japan because it is such a threat to civilization. david mcneill? remarkableement was
8:32 am
for a couple of reasons. he was the sitting prime minister when he turned against nuclear power. since he resigned or since he was taken from power, he commissioned a report in the worst-case scenario for fukushima which included the evacuation of tokyo, which is, is anybody this your nose, impossible. it is impossible to evacuate a city that large. that would be 36 million people. that is what convinced them. japan has 50 working commercial nuclear reactors come including sea coast. japan if there's a problem there, it's a problem for for the shema. what you can see is the poisoning of all of the water that supplies japan's next big city. and hamaoka, if the winds were blowing wrong for tokyo, you
8:33 am
could poison tokyo. of then was going 50% energy provided by nuclear power, now already it was at 30%. this is fascinating as you point out, this is a nation that is the only nation in the world that had two atomic bombs, nuclear bombs dropped on it. >> the background to how japan was able to overcome its resistance to or the powers that be were able to persuade japanese people to overcome the resistance to nuclear power is a fascinating story. and happened in the 1950's 1960's and america was heavily involved. >> what do you mean? >> because japan was american ally at the time in the 1950's, underwas a program which which america supplied so-called peaceful atomic apparel to its allies. part of that program was trying to persuade ordinary people to overcome the resistance to what
8:34 am
nuclear power meant. and there's a long history associated with that. part of it is that people who are opposed to nuclear power, including academics, were finding themselves sidelined three are wise and so on. >> do you not only have the more progressive prime minister, you have conservatives also now opposing nuclear power. >> that's right. even more remarkable than naoto kan, a conservative prime minister --naoto kan is a liberal left it or if you like, one of the few we've had in japan over the last 60 years. then we had a conservative prime minister who actually visited yasukuni. his conversion was remarkable. what we hear is even among the conservative ldp, the party of the current prime minister shinzo abe, up to three percent to 50% of the lawmakers and that party or also in favor of
8:35 am
scrapping nuclear power. the nuclear lobby is very powerful. their winning the game for now. >> the country is becoming increasingly anti-nuclear, but the prime minister is pushing it. show theatistics majority of the people in japan still, despite the last three years of sort of the pro-nuclear propaganda, are still against starting these reactors. >> let's talk about the homeless workers. let's turn to one right now. this is a 57-year-old homeless man. we are an easy target for recruiters. they turn up here with our bags, grilling them around the station and we are easy to spot -- we turn up your with our backs, wheeling them around the station and we're easy to spot. then they asked were looking for work or if we're hungry. then they offer to find is a
8:36 am
job. >> can you talk about this, david mcneill, homeless people being recruited to clean the meltdown plant and what this means, how threatened their health is? >> well, the company that runs in operation tepco has struggled since this disaster began to find people who can help clean it up. there are thousands of people in the power plant every day. there are many more thousands outside of the power plant to are employed to decontaminate the surrounding countryside. basically, they scrape away the earth, put it into bags and move it somewhere else. if you think about the workforce, their struggle to find people who can do that. way, eventually they turned the people who have very little to lose and have no work. the reuters exposé is interesting, but it is not the first time these companies from
8:37 am
mainly subcontractors, have gone looking for people in homeless areas. and the wages they are paid are very, very low. there paid $100 or less a day. overall, talk about what these people are doing in the plant, the remarkable stories you tell. >> one of the things they're doing is ensuring that water keeps going to those nuclear reactors for those three reactors that melted down. that is the key task of anybody who is on the site. it is to make sure the fuel does not overheat again. they must do is just keep the area clean for trucks and so on that are coming back and forth. i have been on the power plant twice. debris is all over the place. they have to make sure it is a workable place where there's no objections. as i said, outside of the plant, you have dozens of people whose job it is to try and make it
8:38 am
livable again, make the area around the power plant level -- livable for those who live there. as for their health, again, this will be disputed for years, the general level of radioactivity that is just about to absorb any year is about 20 melissa gertz. workers tend to reach that limit over -- nuclear limit over one or two years. been there asked to leave. in many cases, they will find work outside the power plant such as in the decontamination work in areas where the radiation is supposedly lower. then they face in employment. they will be let go entirely. >> and the effects on the water, the effect even here in tokyo and how do you trust the
8:39 am
information that comes out and doesn't come out to the public, which is another big issue, what the japanese government is willing to tell the people of japan? >> we are fairly confident the airborne radiation, the really bad radiation that left power plants in the week after the disaster began, we're fairly confident that is low, even as running areas, making it the mobile again. the poisoning of the water? we don't know. there's a lot of independent monitoring going on, not just government, but independent monitoring going on of the water and the air. i have a two-year-old son. with haveose i work children here. they have made a decision based on what they know about the --ts that tokyo is little livable. but anyone who lives or keeps a close eye not only on what the government is telling us about what is going on at the power plant, but also what could happen again.
8:40 am
there are still the potential for more trouble. ofal jazeera has said out 200,000 children screened so far and government ordered tests, 18 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer, 25 suspected cases. >> i have done quite a lot of work on the thyroid cases. ,enerally, where i come down is the science is inconclusive as far as we know so far. because if you look at those statistics, we are not sure yet if it is statistically relevant because were testing only in one part of the country. we don't know if we can compare with other parts of the country. what i tend to do is i focus on something i can prove, which is that the people -- the parents of particular of those children who have to get those tests and in some cases who have turned up sick children, are just very afraid of their future of what will happen to their children. and that is what makes radiation
8:41 am
such a devious enemy. >> the government estimates some 300 tons of radioactive water are pouring into the ocean every day? >> yes. the story behind that is, for years, for the three years since we've been looking at this disaster, the experts have been telling us for journalist telling us, there's no question the radioactive water is pouring into the sea, but the company and the government have denied that until july last year when shinzo abe, coincidence or not, was elected back into power as per minister. user productivity prime minister. we all suspected it, but it has only been confirmed in the company's only really started to take measures to stop it since it is an open question about how dangerous that water is, what it will do to human health, to people
8:42 am
around japan, let alone in america. i tend to think the amount of radiation has gone into the sea at the moment is relatively small, but that doesn't mean it will always be and it doesn't tell us anything about the long- term impact of radiation on the bottom of the sea, honoring life and seaweed. >> the fish market here in tokyo is legendary all over the world. the fish. the level of contamination. what do we know if that? >> we know the fisherman who work around that area, the power plant, all along the east coast of japan and are subject to voluntary restraints. what they will do or what they're doing is not fishing. one of the people we write about in the book, for example, is a fisherman who worked in a place called soma near the power plant. he is not been able to work since. he cannot fish because the radioactive limits have been breached and they haven't come down to a low enough level for
8:43 am
him to be able to work. >> is the plant under control? there are six power plants -- >> six reactors. >> are the reactors under control now? >> it depends on what you mean by under control. three of those reactors melted down. a fourth suffered an explosion. we know this fuel in the three reactors is being kept cool, as long as water is going there and keeping it cool. but what that means is it for any reason the water was to stop , unlikely as that sounds, we would have another problem because the fuel would heat up again and start to release radiation. removing --ell us what they're trying to do is remove those spent fuel rods from the storage. that is a very, very complicated
8:44 am
engineering task that carries with it a lot of potential problems. so is it under control? it is more under control than it was in march and april 2011, for sure, but the decommissioning of the power plant, even the government admits, will take 40 years. i think one thing that people don't talk enough about because they focus on radiation, which may or may not be a concern, is the huge cost. the cost of bringing that place under control is astronomical. >> david mcneill, thank you for being with us. it is great to meet you here in your home turf in tokyo, japan, where we are broadcasting from. he and another journalist lucy birmingham wrote this remarkable book, "strong in the rain: surving japan's earthquake, tsunami, and fukushima nuclear disaster." when we come back, we look at a film that is just out called, "nuclear nation," and we will speak with the film maker who made following the nuclear refugees. stay with us.
8:45 am
♪ [music break]
8:46 am
." "love me tender yes, we are broadcasting from tokyo, japan for the next two
8:47 am
days for three days altogether. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at theinue to look fallout from the fukushima nature nuclear power plant meltdown, turning to a documentary called, "nuclear nation: the fukushima refugees story." happenedlooks at what whereidents of the town the plant was located. in a minute we will be joined by the director astsushi funahashi, but first, a clip from the film the texas to meet the residents were forced to leave their homes and possibly permanently, in the scene they're staying in an abandoned school near tokyo. >> spring. the residents left behind their hometown, beleaguered by nuclear power plant.
8:48 am
more than 1400 refugees now live year. tokyo thatool near is been transformed into modern- day noah's ark for those escaping radiation. it is the host of fukushima daiichi. accident, the townspeople fled 250 kilometers to the outskirts of tokyo. the japanese government is providing three boxed lunches a day.
8:49 am
>> 10 to 20 people occupy each classroom.
8:50 am
>> that is a clip from, "nuclear nation: the fukushima refugees story." we are joined here in our tokyo studio by its director astsushi funahashi. it is great to have you with us. i watched the film on the plane as i was flying to japan. it is a powerful film about nuclear refugees. >> thank you for having me, amy. how did you like the film? >> it is astounding. you have this entire town, futaba, that was completely
8:51 am
relocated into a school. explain how this happened. was -- entire japan was pretty much confused right after this accident happened. first of all, the japanese evacuationordered from ground zero, from fukushima day two. then 10 kilometers, then 20 kilometers. march 2011. in the american government, actually, made in advisory to the american people staying in japan to stay away i believe 60 miles from a which is 80 kilometers. so the japanese people started arguing why the american goes 80 commenters then japanese go 20. there was the huge confusion that how far you have to get
8:52 am
away from it. march, i heard the small town of futaba evacuated 250 kilometers from the fukushima daiichi. nobody knew how far you should go to escape. i thought that was the right decision and that is why i kind of try to focus on this small town. town of all, all the except futaba stayed inside the protector. they were closer to the day two. they trea this town escaped further most. i thought this could be the most interesting and meaningful, too. >> you did not have permission to film in fukushima, but you got a permit from one of the family members because each family was given two permits to
8:53 am
return for two hours to get there things if they wanted to. >> yes, yes. i tried to negotiate with the government and they did not give me any permission to go inside their. and any other independent journalist or doctrine or filmmakers did not get permission to go inside. makers didary film not get permission to go inside. i got along with his family from futaba and they gave me the ok, maybe we go back in there and we have four permits and we're just using 2, so why don't we come together. >> i want to turn to another clip from your film "nuclear nation." who is a cattle farmer defined evacuation orders after the disaster.
8:54 am
>> most farmers, however, have obeyed the evacuation order and have deserted their animals. without food or water, the cows were left to die. out of 3500 head of cattle within the evacuation zone, about half have starved to death. from, "nuclearip nation." i want to play one more clip. in august 2011, municipalities
8:55 am
hosting nuclear plants from across japan convene in tokyo to lobby the government after the fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster. we will hear from the nuclear crisis minister. the minister of economy trade and industry. the clip ends with a comment a representative from the town of futaba, which was evacuated after the disaster, the mayor there. >> the future of energy production >> he leaves his seat in the first five minutes.
8:56 am
the nuclear crisis minister follows suit, citing official duties.
8:57 am
>> that was the mayor of futaba. again, this entire town, now a town of nuclear refugees, cannot go home. what is the prospects for them ever returning? >> pretty much the only thing the government is saying is that at least six years they cannot go back to your own town. or they don't give you any other prospect after that -- but they don't give you any other prospect after that. they're giving out the orders of compensation up to the six years from the accident, but they don't give any prospect. you compare to this compensation
8:58 am
with, let's say, some public project like aching highways or dam, they compensate you in thailand and house you live in because you have to move away. but what is happening in fukushima is that it is about 40% when you compare with those highway or the public projects. because the differences, the government is saying for the nuclear refugees, the basic assumption is you are going back there. and for the highways and the dam , you're not going back. >> thank you for being with us, astsushi funahashi, director of, "nuclear nation: the fukushima refugees story." on part 2.orking on saturday, january 18, i will be speaking in tokyo here at sophia university at 10:00 a.m. at international conference room number two building.
8:59 am
democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
9:00 am